Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Awakening Paperback – August 10, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
This gorgeous edition of Chopin's 1899 classic features period photos of the novel's New Orleans location and a durable plastic dust jacket.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Interesting and Timely . . . Chopin's oracular feminism and prophetic prophetic psychology almost outweigh her estimable literary talents." -- --Newsweek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
The novel commences on Grand Isle, Louisiana, one of the outer most barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a summer resort, established and hosted by Madame Lebrun for the “gratin” of New Orleans society. Edna Pontellier, and her husband, Leonce, are honored guests. They have two young children. The children are tended to by an individual whose label is now rather quaint, if not entirely obsolete, as in, thrown into the “dust bin of history”: a quadroon. Edna is 28, from Kentucky blue-grass country, and a bit of an outsider in what is admittedly, French society. In fact, the toing and froing of the seemingly “idle rich” is rather Proustian. By slow degree, Chopin depicts a souring marriage, like so many, as follows: “She would, through habit, have yielded to his desire; not with any sense of submission or obedience to his compelling wishes, but unthinking, as we walk, move, sit, stand, go through the daily treadmill of the life which has been portioned out to us.” Sounds like a nexus between “Is this all there is to life?” and “laying back and thinking of the Empire”. A woman’s strong intuition into the affairs of the human heart is demonstrated. And, sure ‘nuf, another man becomes involved, Robert, one of the sons of Madame Lebrun. Chopin does “nuance”; there are no black or white characters, and the action evolves in a non-stereotypical way. In short, a good read, with a jolting ending that foreshadows the much latter demise of Virginia Wolfe herself.
It is a “meaty” novel, full of insight, and longer than the 74 pages indicated in the description. I double-checked my Kindle version, and it shows four or five pages with the same page number. If this came from a print version, the face type must have been very small. And a note about the reviews of two other Amazon reviewers, in the USA listing. As I have grown to expect, the lead review is another excellent one by Roger Brunyate giving the work 5-stars. Far more surprisingly, the 1-star, by Ben G., on “The Dangers of Self-Centeredness” is cogent and quite reasonable, simply from a very different perspective. Think it is the very first time that two quite divergent reviews, in terms of the book’s rating, have been worthwhile reads. Is it an “awaking” to one’s own self, or simply dangerous narcissism?
The last 20% of this edition is eight short stories. All too often, in cases like this, the stories can range from mediocre to out-right “filler.” Not so in this case. Almost all are succinct and powerful, as well as being thematically varied. One is on a civil war battlefield, and deals with mistaken identity in the “fog of war.” Another concerns two sisters, camped out beside the ruins of their mansion, which they are obsessed with rebuilding, after it having been destroyed by Union troops. Another concerns that wonderful and terrible power by which “one drop” of black blood makes the entire person black. And there is the transformative power of a simple pair of silk stockings to a woman’s sense of herself and place in society. Written in 1899! An enduring theme.
The French influence, particularly in southern Louisiana, and along the Mississippi River, permeates Chopin’s writings. In fact, there are numerous sentences of untranslated French in her work. Though I spent some time working in northern Louisiana in the early ‘70’s, the history and development of the French influence in the state – the only one with political boundaries designated as “parishes,” remains rather fussy, and so I decided to partially correct that deficiency by reading Wordsworth’s epic poem, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (Classic Reprint)in the near future. As for “The Awaking,” 5-stars
The characters mostly did not come to life for me, and I finished the book because it was a short enough read. Unsatisfying to the end.
Most recent customer reviews
Want to read more of her books.